I would like to start out by commending you, not only for getting involved in politics as a young person, but for trying to inspire other young people to get involved also. I’ve been following your efforts for a while now and up to this point have been impressed.
I am part of a very small group of people who can say they have been where you are. Having been where you are, I’ve seen a few things recently that are troubling to me and that I feel are not conducive to our generation working towards positive change for our country.
I turned 13 last July. I, like you, had a Facebook account before turning 13. My Facebook account was, like yours, deleted (not just once but multiple times) after I was reported for being underage. Facebook has a policy in place that you must be 13 to use the service. This policy has nothing to do with a desire to censor speech, but exists because Facebook collects and sells your data to other companies. With just a tiny bit of research, you could have better informed yourself in order to understand what happened. Instead, you chose to throw what looks like a public temper tantrum saying things like, “This is what happens in this Republic when you voice a dissenting opinion,” and claiming your First Amendment rights were violated. Yes, it was really classless and underhanded that some Internet troll reported your Facebook account, but you can’t blame Facebook for enforcing its policies. As for the First Amendment, it protects you from the Government preventing you from speaking freely. It does not limit the rights of social media companies to produce and enforce their own terms of service. If your responses to personal adversity are not reasoned and based in facts, you are not setting a good example for other young people in conducting themselves in political discourse.
I am also very troubled by a picture you recently posted on your public Facebook page. It shows people holding signs, one of which says “Deport Obola.” Is this the kind of example you think America’s young people should follow? Do you think this represents what you want to see as the future of American politics? There is nothing wrong with discussing issues or policies with which you disagree or calling out elected officials for behavior you see as wrong. However, that can be done with intelligence.
You will continue to get a great deal of attention in the coming weeks and months. Everyone will want to talk to you. People will offer you much praise. Do not let them use you as their prop. Stay in control and stay focused on the changes you want to see and being a part of bringing about that change. As a writer, I know that if I write a piece about the latest crazy thing some politician said, it will get a lot more views than a piece about my vision for America and promoting the policies that will benefit our country, especially the young people of our country. But I continue to write more of those pieces because even though less people read them, those are the ideas our country needs. The attention you are getting now will die down, and it’s who you are without the attention that matters even more than what you do while you have it. Pandering is much easier than having principles and sticking to them.
At least as a guy, people won’t make negative comments about your clothing choices or your makeup. But I know there are plenty of people saying you are a product of indoctrination and that you are just parroting other people’s ideas. Know that whenever I see comments like this in my sphere, I give them the smackdown because no matter if we disagree on certain policies or have differing opinions on certain issues, I want to see more young people like you being engaged and involved.
I hope the recent changes in the way you are presenting yourself and your ideas are merely the reactions of a young person to a great deal of attention, much of which is from people who do not have your best interest at heart. I hope that in the future you will let the love you have for your country and the passion you have for bettering the lives of your fellow citizens guide you in being a part of building the future in which we will lead.